Lt. Smolen’s Report on the Lipa Guerrilla Regiment - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Lt. Smolen’s Report on the Lipa Guerrilla Regiment

The Lipa Guerrilla Regiment used to be known as the “Second Batangas Regiment” when it was affiliated with the Marking’s Guerrillas of Marcos Agustin. It was formed by a former USAFFE officer named Felino Paran. Upon Paran’s capture by the Japanese, command was assumed by Miguel Lina and became known as the “Lipa Guerrilla Unit.” The organization ultimately failed to collectively gain official recognition by the United States Army, but some of its members did get this coveted accolade. In this document1, one 2nd Lt. Victor Smolen filed his investigative report on the organization.
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HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
G-3 GUERRILLA AFFAIRS BRANCH

APO 707
27 June 1946

Report on the “Lipa Guerrilla Unit”

In accordance with verbal instructions from Chief of Section, G-3, AFWESPAC, Lieutenant Victor Smolen and Captain Cesar G. Fernando proceeded to Lipa, Batangas to contact the “Lipa Guerrilla Unit,” in order to determine whether or not this organization should be recognized by the United States Army. The following report is a summary of the investigation and basis for the recommendation.

HISTORY

The facts in this history were taken from submitted written history and verbal claims made by the different individuals contacted during the investigation.

It is claimed that during the month of December 1942, a guerrilla unit, which was later called the “Lipa Guerrilla Regiment,” was organized by Felino Z. Paran, a former USAFFE officer. Contact was made with Marking’s Fil-American forces in February 1943, but it was not until March 1943 that this unit became a part of Marking’s Guerrillas as the “Second Batangas Regiment.” In August 1943, contact was lost when the liaison officer between the two units was killed. Paran was captured by the Japanese shortly after this and Miguel K. Lina then organized the “Lipa Guerrilla Unit” working with the PQOG.

The primary activity of this organization during the Japanese occupation was the gathering of information of the Japanese concentrated in the area and the airfield on the outskirts of the town of Lipa. These intelligence reports were sent to Hermenegildo Lopez who, working with Anderson’s Guerrillas, operated a radio station. The unit also claims to have done some sabotage work. In 1944, they claim to have engaged the Japanese in several encounters. They had “very few weapons.” In the latter part of December 1944, the unit helped in the evacuation of the people from the towns and barrios around Lipa. This mass evacuation was to keep the people from being killed by the Japanese.

Upon the arrival of the 511th Airborne, the unit became divided and only one company was actually attached to the 511 AB. This unit was apparently disbanded in June 1945.

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FINDINGS

The following named persons are those interviewed by the contact team and their statements are the basis for the findings:

1. Miguel K. Lina – CO of subject unit
2. Dr. Clemente Silva – Local physician
3. Dr. Jose Ma Katigbak – Local physician
4. Antero Armedilla – Member of subject unit
5. Margarito Lumas – Member of the subject unit
6. Felino Pena – Member of the subject unit
7. Gregorio Saludo – Member of the subject unit
8. Herminigildo Lopez – Member of the “Anderson’s Guerrillas”
9. Fernando Silva – Member of the subject unit
10. Apolinar Masongsong – Member of the subject unit
11. Baldomero Reyes – Local lawyer and legal adviser of the subject unit
12. Col. Marking Agustin – CO of Marking’s Guerrillas
13. Col. Terry Adevoso – CO of the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas
14. Civilians of the town of Lipa, Batangas

Upon investigating the “Lipa Guerrilla Unit,” it was found that most of the men of the unit were also members of the “Lipa Guerrilla Regiment,” the names of the men appearing on the rosters of both units. Lina, commanding officer of the subject unit, with the rank of Lt. Colonel, was recognized as a Captain with “A” Company, one of the companies claimed by Paran to be a part of the “Lipa Guerrilla Regiment.” Lina did not deny the fact that he was a member of Paran’s unit but he claimed that the recognized company was a part of his unit which was organized after Paran was captured by the Japanese.

As for the intelligence reports submitted by the unit to Herminigildo Lopez, it was admitted by him, on being interviewed, that the reports were not sent to him very often. The reports that he did receive were the same information that he had received from other guerrilla units operating in the same area. There was no substantiating evidence presented to support the claims of the intelligence work and sabotage the unit claims to have accomplished. As for activities, the claims made by this unit are identical with those made by the “Lipa Guerrilla Regiment.” This is due to the fact that the histories of the two units, the “Lipa Guerrilla Regiment” and the “Lipa Guerrilla Unit” are identical, each unit claiming to have written it.

From the investigation of the units, it is apparent that Paran is actually the commanding officer of the Lipa Guerrillas and that Lina is trying to get recognition with the rank of Lt. Colonel using the same information as that furnished by Paran. Lina was apparently encouraged to make the claim for recognition by the members of the unit who did all of the talking during the interview. One of these, a lawyer, claims that being the legal advisor of the unit, his name was included in the roster of the unit. It is believed that the members of the unit worthy of recognition have already been recognized.

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Col Marking Agustin was questioned about the subject unit and he stated that he received very little information as to the activities of the unit during the two (2) months that this unit was attached to him.

POLITICAL ASPECT

This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

After careful consideration of the verbal and documentary evidence presented, it is recommended that this unit be not favorably considered for recognition as a guerrilla unit.

[Sgd.] VICTOR SMOLEN
2nd Lieut. Inf.
Contact Team #5


Notes and references:
1 “Lipa Guerrilla Regiment Paran’s Unit,” File No. 23, online at PVAO.

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